Jade and Chris

How We Met

Chris and I are both active duty Air Force Officers and were classmates at the United States Air Force Academy. We were both Systems Engineering majors so had most of our classes together. I always thought Chris was cute, so I would call him “creeper” in class as my immature way of flirting with him. Aside from a wine tasting class and a few run-ins at the Cadet Bar, Chris and I never dated. Three and a half years later, I was coming home from a six-month deployment in Afghanistan and eating dinner in the cafeteria in Qatar. Chris, an Air Force Pilot, had just gotten back from a flight with his crew and I shouted his name. We caught up, grabbed a beer after and parted ways. He shot me a message a few hours after saying he had a great time, and to not let three years pass before we spoke again. I summoned up all of the courage in me and told him how I felt about him at school and the rest is history.

IMG_0176

How He Asked

Chris planned a romantic weekend for us in Sedona, AZ the weekend of November 7, 2015. He initially planned to propose on Saturday of that weekend, but the winds made that impossible, and the hot air balloon operators had to cancel the flight. The morning of Sunday, November 8th, Chris instructed me to be ready by 6am. He made me close my eyes and guided me to a van. The gentleman driving the van asked if I was ready for the 6am fly fishing excursion — I was not dressed for that! We drove out to a location in the middle of nowhere and there were three trailers each with a basket. They laid the three balloons out, and initially, ours was the only one of the three that wouldn’t inflate. Add my fear of heights into the mix coupled with the wind, and it made for a very stressful morning for Chris. Our balloon finally inflated and we were off (after a shaky takeoff). Once we reached our maximum altitude for the day, Chris asked our balloon pilot to take a picture of us. After the first picture he asked our pilot to keep the camera for one last picture. Chris looked into my eyes and said that he wanted to spend the rest of his sunrises and sunsets with me, which immediately made me breakdown in tears. He got on one knee and asked me to marry him and I shook my head up and down. Chris still doesn’t think I ever said yes…

IMG_0170

IMG_2043